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Charlie and Humphrey

topic posted Tue, November 16, 2004 - 12:14 PM by  Russet66
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Healthy Amanda who has a Chin mentioned Oakland, CA.

That got me to thinking.... does anyone remember Charlie and Humphrey, the dog and cat puppet pals? They hung out with Pat McCormick (of Dialing-for-Dollars fame). I loved them!
posted by:
Russet66
SF Bay Area
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  • Yes, those were the such adorable puppets, really the best. I think they debuted on Captain Satellite...do you remember "Snippets" too?
    • Snippets!!! That was on Channel 44 (KBHK), right?
      • Yes and on channel 2 (KTVU) was "Bits and Pieces" sometimes with Charlie and Humphrey on it :) Snippets had lots of informational PSA's and experimental animation blurbs.
        • Ahhh... as I remember, Snippets was all about building a child's sense of self-worth and stuff like that.

          *sigh* KBHK was great for Tarzan and Shirley Temple movies on Saturday mornings, but KTVU really was the best station in the Bay Area back in the seventies.... at least for me... It's kind of tragic that with the rise of the new broadcast networks, starting with Fox, we have all but seen the demise of the truly independent television station, with great local flavour.

          *moment*

          Okay, all better now!
          • I loved KTVU!
            They once showed this cartoon short where these two scientist are at the control panel of a giant screen that has all these stencils of colorless people on it. They see to each other:
            #1: "Let's make all these people white."
            #2: "Most of them should be white, some of them black and brown"
            They go about fiddling with the dials till their picture has all different colors on it...
            #1 and#2: "Hey, they all look different, yeah that looks good!"
            And it ends with a wonderfully cheesey sythesized Snippets riff and everyone smiling....

            Only in 70's....
  • I miss Charley & Humphrey! (Pat McCormick was the voice for them. I don't know if he also worked the puppets.)
    I miss Dialing For Dollars, and Captain Satellite, too!


    I've always wondered what people thought in areas where Dialing for Dollars didn't show, when they heard the lyrics in the song "Mercedes Benz", by Janis Joplin.

    ("Oh lord, won’t you buy me a color tv?
    Dialing for dollars is trying to find me.
    I wait for delivery each day until three,
    So oh lord, won’t you buy me a color tv? ")


    Hmmmm. Went Googling, and found this:

    "After Captain Satellite went off the air, about 1971, another Ch. 2 personality, Pat McCormick, brought back his creations "Charley and Humphrey." The "Charley and Humphrey" show had originally aired in SF on Ch. 7 in the 60s, and was brought back by McCormick on Ch. 2 when he became the fulltime host of "Dialing For Dollars." (McCormick had also previously hosted another children's show, "Brother Buzz.")

    McCormick didn't appear on-screen on "Charley and Humphrey": they were puppets and he provided the puppeteering and the voices. Charley was a horse and Humphrey his not-too-bright dog friend. Also seen on the show (which I believe ran daily from 3:30-4:30 PM) was Pussyfoot, a classical piano-playing tabby.

    Much loved in the Bay Area, the 70s version of "Charley and Humphrey" was on the air until about 1975-76. Public service announcements from the 70s featuring the duo ran on Ch. 2 late at night well into the 90s. Sadly, when McCormick retired from Ch. 2 a few years ago, he stated that virtually all of the episodes no longer existed. He also said that the puppets were still around but had deteriorated to the point where they could no longer be used."

    :C They should make new puppets! Same old design, but maybe use new material?
    • Thanks Silver, I now remember 'Pussyfoot" and but had totally forgotten! Both of my brothers, one who sadly is not with us anymore , were guests on Captain Satellite and told Pat all about the rabbits , ducks , baby cayman and chickens we had in our Eastbay backyard.
      Those really were the days. I wish all the kid's in my life could have access to such great , creative genius these days (great as the Sponge Bob movie is).

      I too always wondered about Dialing for Dollars as sang by Janis :)
      • I had the biggest crush on Pat, my husband actually looks like him! LOL
        Someone needs to compile an immense archive of all these shows, my son is at the target age for all this stuff and sadly so much of it was thrown out . I like how intelligent and "not slick" all these show were...psychedelic intellect for children.
        • Now I can't recall which one was Charlie and which one was Humphrey but the pussycat on the piano disturbed me. I also remember a PSA they did and the dog was wearing headphones and rocking out to Kiss-good times!
          • Humphrey was the dog. Charley was the horse. (Just remember "charliehorse", like when you get a leg cramp...Or am I the only one who remembers that term?)


            They did several PSA's. They were all great!
  • I remember one day when Charlie & Humphrey had a whipped cream fight. They broke for a commercial and when the show came back on Pat was on camera without them cleaning up the sound stage! He said that they had misbehaved and had been sent to their rooms.

    Does anyone know what Pat is doing now?
    • Not sure what Pat is up to but had a mild scare when I read he died this weekend...but it was a different Pat McCormick, a comic I am vaguely familiar with.
      • Snippets was actually a syndicated time-waster sold to TV stations all across the US, where they'd get jammed into whatever Milltown-Bozo knock-offs show, or that of whatever Genial-Uncle-type who hosts the Sunday AM Popeye/George Of The Jungle fest.

        Somewhere there has to be a big old pile of them on Super-8 or Beta in a warehouse.
  • I used to love Charlie & Humphrey. I always quote them or use variations from quotes of theirs. My personal fav was:
    Humprey: "Well, you have heard of bees?"
    Charlie: "Yep".
    Humphrey: "Well, a herd of 'em are chasing me!"

    I also always tell people "Don't rile 'em up. You'll make the *BLANK* made" and refer to shoplifting as "Borrowing...without asking". By the way, does anyone happen to have pics of them? I'd appreciate it if someone could post them. Thanks in advance.
    • I was a C&H fanatic when I was a kid. Pat McCormick was really great. My favorite bit was a spoof they did on KTVU's editorial segments, called "Outlook". The C&H version was called "Lookout!", in which they would state their opinion on something and then get nailed with a large mallet...LOL. I don't know what I would have done without Channels 2 and 44 in my kid life. But all the stations in the Bay Area used to have original kids programs. It used to be required by law for a TV station to provide it, but no more.
      • Haven't heard "Charlie & Humphrey" names in 30 years. They also had more side kicks named "Sneezer" & "Punk Kid". During the C&H show, Pat McCormick [Not the comedian]
        would dialogue with C&H between Three Stooges shorts on KTVU 2 Oakland.

        Pat McCormick was a Channel 2 regular doing the Magician Bob show, then C&H, then
        moderating Dialing For Dollars with Mel Ventnor. He finished up doing weather at nites before retiring sometime in the 80's I believe.

        Channel 2 was the S.F. original Independent station years before Jim Gabbert brought us UHF Channel 20 with all his excellent inovations.

        Who remembers Walt Harris on KTVU Friday Nites with "All Star Wrestling". Pepper Gomez, Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson, Kenji Shabuja, etc. etc.

        KRON Channel 4 also had a kids show in the late 50's called "Skipper Sedley" with puppets showing Popeye cartoons.

        Later on in the early 60's, he played a knight as "Sir Sedley" on channel 2 with puppets showing Three Stooges shorts. This show was before Charlie and Humphrey got started.

        Later on, Bob March [Captain Sattelite] would join Pat McCormick doing the AM version of Dialing For Dollars. Pat did the PM version.

        Great fun back then. I wish local programming was as creative today!!
        • Does anyone have any sound bits for this popular duo - I amlooking for the one that talks about poking someone in the nose.
          • That was the one where Humphrey and Pussyfoot poke each other in the nose during an argument. It was about "bullying." The ending went like this:

            Pussyfoot: Humphrey, I apologize for poking youse... in da nose. (short raspberry)

            Humphrey (off camera): Accepted!

            Pussyfoot: You admit that you was wrong?

            Humphrey (off camera): I was RIGHT!

            Pat McCormick: You see... poking someone in the nose doesn't make you right. It just makes you... a bully.

            Pussyfoot: (dejectedly) ...yeah.
          • That was the one where Humphrey and Pussyfoot poke each other in the nose during an argument. It was about "bullying." The ending went like this:

            Pussyfoot: Humphrey, I apologize for poking youse... in da nose. (short raspberry)

            Humphrey (off camera): Accepted!

            Pussyfoot: You admit that you was wrong?

            Humphrey (off camera): I was RIGHT!

            Pat McCormick: You see... poking someone in the nose doesn't make you right. It just makes you... a bully.

            Pussyfoot: (dejectedly) ...yeah.
    • This is from memory! :-)

      [Humphrey comes tearing into camera range, running back and forth frantically]

      Charley Horse: —What in tarnation....?!

      Humphrey Dog: Charles! A herd of bees is chasing me!

      C: A HERD of bees?!

      H: You've heard of bees?

      C: Yes...

      H: Well, a herd of 'em is CHASIN' me!

      C: Well, what did you do to rile 'em up??

      H: I DIDN'T DO NOTHIN'! ...poked a stick in their hive, got some honey!

      C: Well, THAT'LL rile 'em up! I mean, that'll make a bee mad! You know... if you leave the little honeybees alone, they won't bother you! And they're useful for pollenation and all that, and besides, did you know that out of all the world's insects, only honeybees produce food that humans eat, and ..uh.. whoopsie! A honeybee just landed on.. my back leg. Now if we leave it alone, he'll just fly away!

      H: Well, how about if I kick him off?

      C: No, don't—ow.... OWWWWW!!!!
  • I remember Charley & Humphrey well. Which is why I remember that Charley was a HORSE, and Humphrey was a DOG! There was a cat who appeared occasionally named Pussyfoot.

    And yes, it's spelled "Charley."

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